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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015

We and another couple just returned from a week aboard the Seabourn Spirit cruising from Barabdos to Sint Maarten, and had an excellent experience on this marvellous lady of the seas.

Ship: The Spirit is an older ship, and was ... Read More

We and another couple just returned from a week aboard the Seabourn Spirit cruising from Barabdos to Sint Maarten, and had an excellent experience on this marvellous lady of the seas.

Ship: The Spirit is an older ship, and was showing some wear and tear in a few areas, but for its age, it was in good shape and was well maintained. Most importantly, all the key things such as A/C, toilets, water, engines, tenders, etc. worked the entire cruise, which can be a concern on older ships. A good choice of indoor and outdoor space for a small ship. We love the small size of the Spirit and its sisters, and were thrilled to have one final chance to say farewell. Rating 4 out of 5 for ship.

Crew: This was a happy group and one of the best we’ve had afloat. No request was too much for this crew, and we made several, all met with a smile. Full marks to the Captain for maintaining such good morale and high standards. We rated them 5 out of 5 (“excellent.”)

Food: The chefs did a fantastic job and consistently produced excellent food in the main dining room where we ate 5 out of 7 nights. There was also a lot of good choice on the menu in the dining room, and the Maitre ‘d gladly did some special orders for us. We ate one night at the Sky Bar Grill, which is the al fresco dining area set up next to outdoor bar that offers barbecued steak and fish under the stars. We dined at the grill on the only night the ship stayed late in port, so we had ideal conditions for outdoor dining. The steak and shrimp was great. Our only disappointment was the last night at Restaurant 2. Our overall rating for food on the Spirit was 4.5 out of 5.

Itinerary: We loved Bequia, Dominca, Antigua, Anguilla, and the BVI. Deshaies, Guadeloupe was a major disappointment. We were a party of 4, so arranged our own taxi excursions ashore where needed. Caviar in the Surf at Prickly Pear Island (BVI) was fun and the beach wonderful. Weather the whole week was marvellous, and made the ports of call even better. 4.5 out 5 for itinerary.

Overall: We’ve taken 4 Seabourn cruises (and 62 cruises overall), and this was our favourite Seabourn cruise and one of the top 10 overall. We will miss the Spirit and her two sisters, which in my view, were three of the best luxury small ships afloat. I’m glad we took this final opportunity to say “farewell” to this marvellous lady, and that we will have such a warm and wonderful memory of her. Overall cruise rating of 5 of 5 – Excellent.

 

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Sail Date: November 2014

Cruise Barbados to St Martin

This was our second Seabourn cruise(1st being on the Pride in March) and as expected the crew were typically Seabourn and exceptional.Captain Stig was the Master and what a great guy he was.It would ... Read More

Cruise Barbados to St Martin

This was our second Seabourn cruise(1st being on the Pride in March) and as expected the crew were typically Seabourn and exceptional.Captain Stig was the Master and what a great guy he was.It would be unfair to single out anybody for special praise as it would be very unfair on the others.

The Spirit was in very good shape for her age and we had no problems at all with everything working perfectly.

Only two minor niggles were the food not being up to Seabourn standards i.e. some evenings having cold plates resulting in food cooling rapidly and occasonally food being undercooked.

Weather was mixed with heavy rain on leaving Barbados and gradually improving until a beautiful beach day on Prickly Pear.

All in all we loved our 2nd Seabourn experience and met some lovely fellow cruisers.

 

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Sail Date: August 2014

Having sailed on Seabourn before and loved it, we wanted to try one of the smaller Seabourn ships before the transfer to Windstar was completed next year. So we chose this Adriatic itinerary. As far as we are concerned, Seabourn ... Read More

Having sailed on Seabourn before and loved it, we wanted to try one of the smaller Seabourn ships before the transfer to Windstar was completed next year. So we chose this Adriatic itinerary. As far as we are concerned, Seabourn provides the best overall cruise experience today on the high seas, and this, while not up to the standard the larger Seabourn ships provide in several ways, was no exception.

First the differences between sailing on this 25 year old vessel and the newer, larger ships. 200 passengers versus 450. Obviously with the 200 passengers, it is a much more intimate experience all around. And so by the third or fourth day we were addressed personally by most to the crew. But it was not that much worse on the 450 ships either when we sailed them. The loyal Seabourn sailors from these small ships are devastated they are going away.The pool and sun deck space and layout are a big difference. Here on the Spirit the pool is very small and removed from where the deck chairs are located. And there is practically no shaded space under overhangs in the open deck to sit in to avoid the sun. Most people did not care, and the pool was hardly ever used largely because of its inconvenience. The public areas are lacking in size and decoration compared to the newer models, and while Seabourn has kept them up to date with renovations, they are much nicer on the bigger ships. The cabins at 277 sq ft are quite comfortable, but the ship as designed has no verandas, which must have been the custom of the day in 1989 and only large plate glass windows. Some have sliding doors, but no outside space unless one gets the large suites. The bigger ships are 300 sq ft cabins, plus the 65 sq ft verandas, so there is a considerable difference. The bathrooms were double sinked, comfortably sized and very nice. The cabin clothes closet was rather small. The ship sailed comfortably most of the time despite its small size, and only one night was bad, at least for me.

The dining room is smaller, with no wide plate glass windows to view the sea and scenery from, and only portholes, and that does not provide any feeling of being at sea because one cannot really see anything. But the food is very good indeed, with wide choices tastily prepared and attractively served, and the service is marvelous. Never a wait for anything. Excellent choice and quality of complimentary wines served. And champagne. The menu changed constantly, the dishes were high end food equal to if not better than what we find at high end restaurants around the world. Plus, the caviar....oh that caviar. The DR management and captains are amazing, as is the waiting staff is......each and every one, always with the smile and going the extra mile. Always so courteous and gracious. And so personalized. We do not know how Seabourn always manages to hire the very best people for these positions but it does.

The outdoor grill is small and not great. The second restaurant Restaurant 2 at night in just the Veranda buffet restaurant turned into table service at night, and we did not find it wonderful although they tried with various food nights. Breakfast on the Veranda is ok.

The entertainment is what one would expect on a small ship, with the usual comedians and magicians, and band with singers, which were quite good but the Cruise Director Simon is a unique and very entertaining fellow, as is his assistant Heather. Very talented.They do a very good job.

Seabourn changed its smoking policy last year and now does not permit smoking in the cabins and most of the public areas. Bravo that they finally did this and got into modern times. They still on the small ships allow smoking in shared spaces at the deck bar, and that is annoying for 95 percent of the passengers that do not smoke and do not like to breath in smoke from the table next door. Their safety drill announcements now, after some reminders and conversations, make their new smoking policy clear. Thank God for this.

Their tender operations leave something to be desired, but again this is an old ship, and the tenders are small and not so great for access into and egress from for even average folk in both average and not so calm seas.

The Captain and his officers did a very good job. No problem is to small for them to look into and fix.

The itinerary on this Adriatic cruise, just down and up, and then down and up the Adriatic from Venice, was why we chose this ship and this cruise. Most of the ports were small and only a small ship like this could enter or tender. And the ports on this back to back cruise were never duplicated, expect once with Dubrovnik. Italian ports, Croatian, and Greek, with a sliver of Montenegro. All very interesting. The excursions were what I would call better than average, and fairly priced.

 

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Sail Date: April 2014

After wanting to cruise Seabourn for quite awhile, we decided to splurge on our honeymoon to Europe. We paid for the cruise, pre and post transfers and one night hotel (plus biz class airfare). We prepaid for two excursions and 3 spa ... Read More

After wanting to cruise Seabourn for quite awhile, we decided to splurge on our honeymoon to Europe. We paid for the cruise, pre and post transfers and one night hotel (plus biz class airfare). We prepaid for two excursions and 3 spa treatments- in other words , a pretty penny. We were sold a six star experience.

The biggest thing you need to know is that the Seabourn advertising/brand promise does not match the experience on the Spirit.

Embarkation- arrival was easy due to size and amt of passengers but they herd you into the showroom/lounge to wait for your cabin until after 2pm. This would be a great time to impress- but there was a small buffet with sandwiches and wraps with your choice of any beverage. Not a 'wow'.

Cabin- take a good look at the pics online. While spacious at 277sq ft, decor is dated. Bathroom is nice w/marble double sinks- and walk in closet is appreciated. Old Bose setup.

Dining- here's our first Dining Room experience- there was almost a riot. It got ugly. There were only 5-6 tables, and about 6 staff. Coffee took 15+ Minutes! Diet Coke 20. Couldn't get service- or make our order. The few others who did order got their food cold. When they continually asked for the basics like coffee or hot food, the maitre d' literally said to a passenger, "Ma'am , I heard you the first time." We walked out. We left an hour to get breakfast before our excursion- we never ate. For the entire cruise, getting bev service or a refill was a joke. Food temp was consistently cool.

Wine- the offerings are very basic. Like robert Mondavi Coastal Chardonnay, Oyster Bay Sauv Blanc, Two Vines Cab and Euro table wines. They are NOT fine wines- be aware.

Ship shape- poor. Rust on the railings all over, open wiring on pool deck, dirty broken grill at Sky Grill.

You will not be impressed with the ship if you are expecting luxury.

Finally, the good stuff. The passengers are great- very nice and interesting. The entertainment is the best you could ask for on a small ship. They really do get to know your name (I saw on a clipboard a roster of passenger pix- good idea)

We complained strongly about the failure of the Spirit to meet the basic expectations of their website promises. They did apologize and offered a small onboard credit, make excuses that the ship is 25 yrs old. (So you can't keep it up?) And I don't care a bit that it's being sold. I still paid $$$$ for a Seabourn Cruise- NOT CARNIVAL, it's still Seabourn, and they are supposed to meet their own advertised promises. I would say it's a 3 star cruise on a small ship.

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Sail Date: February 2014

We have just returned from our first cruise with Seabourn on Seabourn Spirit in the Caribbean.

It has taken us a little time to analyse why we were so very disappointed in this cruise. It has been a long held ambition of ours to ... Read More

We have just returned from our first cruise with Seabourn on Seabourn Spirit in the Caribbean.

It has taken us a little time to analyse why we were so very disappointed in this cruise. It has been a long held ambition of ours to sail with Seabourn and our expectation was high – much higher than the actual delivery which fell short on many occasions. Many of the issues were caused by our expectations that this ship was accessible, with a few restrictions. My husband cannot walk well, has difficulties with stairs and often uses either a very small electric mobility scooter or a manual wheelchair. These needs were discussed with Seabourn prior to booking and a special needs form completed as requested.

Despite obvious attempts to make the ship accessible, it is clear immediately on boarding that issues are numerous.

The first problem is boarding. Nowhere did we find a warning that boarding would be via a staircase. As it happens, in Barbados the stairs were not too steep and given time and help my husband was able to climb the stairs. However, in other ports the stairs were often steeper and were very difficult, particularly as there was never any assistance available on the dockside. This restricted our ability to leave the ship.

The second major problem was boarding the tender. On other ships this has not really been a problem. Lifts normally go to within a few steps of the tender boarding platform. Boarding tenders tends to be from midships where movement is less and the entrance to the tender also tends to be midships reducing movement significantly whilst also providing a safe landing into the interior of the tender. Arrangements on Pride are quite different. There are two steep wooden staircases to negotiate as well as a passage through the marina area where there are only rope rails. On arrival at the tender boarding platform (at the stern of the ship where movement is extreme), one is faced with stepping onto a tiny platform at the stern of the tender with no rails to hold. Crew are excellent at helping but it is frightening to have to step on the small tender platform and then step down onto the stern on the tender before negotiating yet more steep steps into the tender. General warning about the need to use tenders is just not good enough. We had to cancel all of our booked shore excursions in tender ports since on any particular day we could not be sure if my husband would be able to board the tender. This had a very significant impact on our enjoyment of the cruise.

We were also disappointed in the accessibility of the suite. It was only big enough to drive the scooter in if the dressing table chair was removed first. There was no electricity socket near enough to charge the scooter. This problem was solved by wiring in an extension through the cupboard below the TV so that the cupboard doors could not be shut. There is a step into the bathroom that is easy to forget at night. There are no grab rails near the WC. The shower is tiny and with inadequate grab rails. The shower chair eventually turned up but was so unstable that it could not be used. Someone came to tighten the screws on the legs but this failed to solve the problem. The walk-in wardrobe had clearly been made to smaller to attempt to make the suite accessible. This meant that use of the hanging rail near the door prevented the door from closing. If the door was not closed then the light would not go off. If the clothes were moved to close the door, movement during the night caused them to slide back down the rail so the door could not be opened in the morning.

It is clear that a lot of work has been done to make the door thresholds around the ship easier to negotiate. However these steep ramps are impossible for scooters. As there is no flat area at the top near the door, the scooter just grounds on the crest and hangs in mid-air with its wheels off the ground. These ramps help those unable to step up but do not help scooters.

Getting to the Sky bar (the only outdoor space with chairs for use during the day) was impossible since the lift was not big enough for a scooter or a wheelchair.

In general public spaces were very crowded making it hard to find seats that were accessible to anyone with some walking difficulties. Sidling between chairs and tripping over feet is just not an option.

In our view it would be much better to make some of the issues clear. If we had known the problems we would have considered carefully if we could manage without the scooter or if we should have tried one of the bigger and more modern Seabourn ships. As it was, life on board was a constant frustration making it hard to enjoy other aspects of the cruise.

Not all other aspects came up to our expectation. The promised “fine wines” poured with meals turned out to be the lowest price vin de table available from supermarkets at a few pounds a bottle. The promised service turned out to be patchy with tables in the crowded Veranda Café left with dirty dishes while people wandered around trying to find somewhere to sit. Often repeated requests were necessary for such simple items as a glass of water or orange juice. Breakfast in the dining room took over an hour for a simple cooked breakfast to arrive. The ordered plate of fruit never did arrive. A simple 3 course dinner one evening took over 2 and a half hours meaning that we left before coffee in order to get to the entertainment.

We did speak to staff on several occasions about items that could be rectified on board and the crew did everything they could to rectify deficiencies. However the major issues could not be addressed and resulted in a wide discrepancy between our expectation and delivery. Everyone told us that the problems we were encountering were due to the age and design of the smaller ships and we would not have these problems on the larger ships. However, at the price of cruises with Seabourn we are reluctant to consider another cruise if it is not possible to find out a bit more about the realities of life on board for those with walking difficulties. We feel that the publicity and the web site are very misleading and lacking in real information about the ships. The result for us was a very disappointing cruise that fell far below the advertised standard.

In spite of writing to the company over a month ago we have not had any contact from them.

 

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Sail Date: July 2013

Fond memories of the Spirit - Venice to Venice along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas

This was our first cruise with Seabourn. It was on the July 13 sailing on the Spirit for their 10 Day Venice and Adriatic Treasures. My wife and ... Read More

Fond memories of the Spirit - Venice to Venice along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas

This was our first cruise with Seabourn. It was on the July 13 sailing on the Spirit for their 10 Day Venice and Adriatic Treasures. My wife and have sailed on many cruises, to many widely diverse destinations via a wide range of river and ocean based cruise lines. However, the Seabourn Spirit was the most impressive cruise operation that we have experienced to date.

Positive Aspects:

The dining and service aspects met all expectations (which are quite high on cruise critic). Staff greeted us by name within three days or less. Staff commitments were made and honored routinely. Professionalism was consistently exhibited to very high standards. Friendliness and proactive assistance was abundant. The reception/purser staff members were extremely accommodating and excelled at delivering on special requests. Dining room hosted table invitations were abundant (3). Ships officers frequently socialized with the passengers outside of usual dining environments and acted as ad hoc social group magnets. The ship was well maintained, clean and fully operational (except for one slot machine in the tiny casino that was out of order for the entire sailing; which did not matter to me since I do not gamble). The cabin was spacious, luxurious, clean, well maintained and conveniently located. The entertainment was very good (in spite of the limited space). The lecture series was appropriate, interesting and insightful. The spa staff/services were excellent and even the small gym was quite acceptable. The ship felt and looked like a stylish and romantic mega-yacht (not a floating city). The sailing was very smooth (thanks to the professionalism of the crew and good luck on weather/sea conditions).Port calls adhered firmly to the port call schedules; except for Rovinj (where a late change shifted the hours one hour earlier for unknown reasons). The bartenders and the drinks (plus caviar setups) were great. There was an excellent depth and breadth to the liquor offerings. Italian and Greek beer was often available. The wine quality was good, freely/frequently poured and varied sufficiently for me (a relatively average wine novice). In general, the ports itinerary was excellent (and I am extremely port itinerary driven). The ship maintained a classy ambiance and passengers were highly compliant with the dress code. I did not see anyone smoke (not even in the observation lounge or the Skybar). The bed was very comfortable and the cabin bathroom was very well appointed. Ship hosted events were fun, unique and stylish. There were many subtle little touches that enhanced the experience, like coolers (with soda, water & other drinks) near the hot tubs, water & umbrellas near the gangway at each port, super chilled wash cloth size towels at the Skybar, scones in the observation lounge, ginger & mints outside the dining venues and CDs & DVDs conveniently available. The food in all dining venues was excellent. Thai and Indian cooking influences were abundant. The fantastic bread sticks and tempura textured french fries were an unusual surprising indulgence. I ate very well but actually gained less weight than usual for a cruise. I did not take any ship sponsored shore excursions, since I made my own private arrangements. The extra ship based overnight in Venice at the end of the trip was useful (for evening events) and fun. The disembarkation procedure was simple, fast and efficient. We were allowed to carry our own luggage off, as requested, as a convenience to us.

Negative Aspects:

There were generally none. However, there were some minor disappointments. The Marina Day events (at Fiskardo) were cancelled at the last minute due to current conditions (that did not appear rough but I suppose some elderly passengers may be more likely to fall over in less than ideal conditions). I got the feeling that Marina Days are easily and often cancelled, even though the designated ports are suited to little else. Engine room tours are prohibited per Carnival corporate policy. Flaming dishes prepared or presented tableside are now prohibited, per a relatively new Carnival corporate policy (and generally mis-blamed on the Costa Concordia navigation mishap and the other Carnival brand engine failures/fires). The boarding process was relatively quick but understaffed. While we were among the last to board, by arriving at the official embarkation boarding start time, greeters were generally scarce and drink service was elusive. We arrived in our cabin but the steward did not come by for about a half hour (but then all the really good aspects of the sailing began). The only bridge tour visit was not well scheduled or announced. The pool area was actually better than expected/forewarned, due to both pool side (wet risk) and pool adjacent (safely dry) seating options that were available. The ship store was rarely open but it did not really matter to me.

Suggestions for Improvement:

Improve or at least enforce the embarkation meet and greet welcome aboard experience.

Consider offering room service from the dining room dinner menu earlier (6:00 PM or 6:30 PM)

Rethink destinations and alternative options for the Marina Day to manage passenger expectations.

Increase the temperature of the hot tubs a little over the existing 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consider offering some more creative/unusual shore excursions (possibly event oriented)

Consider offering currency exchange for all ports visited (especially multi-day country visits).

Consider avoiding cookie snack offerings, where all the cookies have nuts.

Shorten the lifeboat drill on-deck lecture or make it more practical with truly useful information.

 

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Sail Date: April 2013
My wife and I have travelled a fair bit. Cruised a number of times on the Windjammer (original now defunct) and on Holland America. The 14 day Med cruise was our first with Seabourn. Barecelona to Venice. We loved it and I would highly ... Read More
My wife and I have travelled a fair bit. Cruised a number of times on the Windjammer (original now defunct) and on Holland America. The 14 day Med cruise was our first with Seabourn. Barecelona to Venice. We loved it and I would highly recommend it. Everything is perfect. But we almost didn't make it. We got to Barcelona and couldn't find the ship! Our departure information was insufficient. It says Port of Barcelona. That's all. Tell that to a cab driver. He goes to find the ship and its not where the cruise ships are. Well after a harrowing hour of driving around, checking with the port authority, a policeman, a large hotel (W Insider) near the port, no one had any knowledge of the Seabourn spirit. The hotel was even kind enough to call the 7x24 365 days a yr (yeah right) emergency number listed on our booking. We got a record a message that we open at 5am PST (after our sail). The taxi cab tried one more place (a smaller terminal on the port) where at first we couldn't see anything and there it was ... a was a small Seabourn sign far off the curb. The terminal hid the ship. We were one of many couples that had the same experience and a $50 cab ride. (should have been ~ 20) Suggestions to people sailing on Seabourn. Get DETAILS of the port ... what terminal or berth the ship is sailing from. Some ports are huge. Have the information available in the language the port is located. Suggestions to Seabourn. Provide details, have a true emergency number or a message with berth information, provide a picture of the ship in your materials. Register with the authorities so they look you up. Have the berth information on your website. Inform local hotels. Note all ports are listed so here is our itinerary. SAT 13APR13 Sail from Barcelona, Spain 4:00pm SUN 14APR13 Marseille (Provence), France 10:00am 7:00pm MON 15APR13 Monte Carlo, Monaco 8:00am 6:00pm TUE 16APR13 Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy 7:00am 7:00pm WED 17APR13 Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 7:00am 6:00pm THU 18APR13 Naples, Italy 9:00am 7:00pm FRI 19APR13 Sea Day SAT 20APR13 Argostoli, Greece 8:00am 6:00pm SUN 21APR13 Igoumenitsa, Greece 8:00am 5:00pm (could miss this port) MON 22APR13 Kotor, Montenegro 11:00am 11:00pm TUE 23APR13 Dubrovnik, Croatia 1 8:00am 6:00pm WED 24APR13 Sea Day THU 25APR13 Koper, Slovenia 8:00am 6:00pm FRI 26APR13 Ravenna (San Marino), Italy 7:00am 8:00pm (could miss this port) SAT 27APR13 Debark Ship Venice, Italy Note all our ports available so: Livorno - excursion Discover Cinque Terre = 7. Amazing tour guide. Good value for money. Took boat, train and bus to see amazing villages. A truly unique experience. Rome - Etruscan History & Wine Tasting. Rate a 4. Was a little hard to understand guide. Would have liked free time. Argostoli Greece - Melissani Lake and Ouze Meze Rate a 4-5. Lake was a bit of a disappointment. Smaller than I imagined. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
As our first cruise we don't have much to compare our experience too, however as seasoned travellers and as persons accustomed to 5-star luxury holidays we held high expectations for the trip. We started in St.Maarten having flown in ... Read More
As our first cruise we don't have much to compare our experience too, however as seasoned travellers and as persons accustomed to 5-star luxury holidays we held high expectations for the trip. We started in St.Maarten having flown in from a 4 day shopping trip to New York. I won't go into the abysmal service and experience of flying with British Airways, however will point out I will never fly with them again. We stayed at the Holland House hotel in St.Phillipsburg, where the cruise terminal was visible from the veranda restaurant and beach. For $200 a night accommodation including breakfast and wifi for two, this was the perfect start to the holiday. It does not have a pool however, the beach is a stones throw from breakfast and the sea perfectly warm and clean. Having spent a few days on St.Maarten we were ready to board our ship. As our tickets stated we could board anytime, however the rooms weren't ready until 1400, we chose to embark a little early due to boredom and excitement. When promptly greeted by the Seabourn representative at the pier we were a little surprised to find the ship almost full already, as this was 2hrs before boarding time. However guest registration was quick and easy, we were promptly handed a glass of champagne and several canapes before being escorted to our room. The room itself was on deck 4 and port side. We opted for the cheapest room available as previous travellers on board had advised. This is purely down to the size of the ship, it really isn't big enough to worry about the extra 6 meters walk you encounter by spending £500 per person more. We did have an extra flight of stairs to ascend in a morning for breakfast, however as this was the only exercise we encountered each day we were quite glad of it. The room itself was large enough, with a queen bed, sitting area, en suite and walk in wardrobe. Our stewardess Lydia greater us promptly introducing herself and offering complementary soaps and opening a bottle of champagne. This is where we really noticed the Seabourn difference. The service is exquisite. Within a day virtually every staff member knows your name, the bar staff know what you drink and how you like it. Nothing is too much trouble or effort, however they are not imposing or in your face. The first night we were invited to dinner by Sam, the ships guitarist. He was excellent company and introduced us to the world of cruising. As a relatively young couple (30) we were slightly concerned as to the demographic on board. We were surprised to find around 20 other similar aged passengers, however they mainly travelled in groups and were unsociable with the rest of the ship. One particular girl really became annoying but having to exclaim "Oh, My, God" in between every other word. This was however no fault of seabourn. The ship had 99 Americas, 50 British and 40 others. Not quite at capacity of 210. There were also 170 staff on board. The food! As a food lover this was the biggest aspect of the cruise we looked forward to, and it didn't disappoint. The portions are plenty full but not massive and always cooked to your liking (the waiter will remember how you had your steak last night/ at lunch and ask if you want it the same!) By the end of the cruise both the wife and I were struggling to fit into clothes and on return to the UK my scales told me I was 14lbs heavier! Must have enjoyed it. The drinks are also fantastic. The bar tenders are a knowledge of cocktails and are always happy to recommend something, or make whatever you order. Champagne is virtually on tap 24hrs a day. The frozen Mojitos were my favourite, basically a Mojito flavoured slush puppy. My wife loved the strawberry daiquiri, until she ate them out of strawberries. These were swiftly replaced at the next port after much apologising. Not much of my time on board was spent sober, however it was a little uncouth to be drunk (as the woman who decided to strip naked in the restaurant on the first night found out!) The ship had recently been refitted in dry dock during the summer so was looking fantastic. The only aspect that is starting to look its age were to two tender boats that take you ashore. These could defiantly do with replacement/refurbishment. They still serve their purpose sufficiently ferrying passengers around and do get some abuse from their helms when approaching the ship/shore. Hold on tight! The port excursions we experienced, Treasure island snorkeling and Tree too zip lining were well organised and run. Do however be prepared to sign your entire life away before they will let you participate, presumably down the the American suing culture. We didn't get chance to experience the marina due to weather conditions, and this forms my only negative of the cruise. On the second to last day we were due to anchor off Le.Marin for the beach BBQ and marina day. The swell was large and the captain made the decision it was too dangerous to moor. This was fair enough as Seabourn can't control the sea conditions, however the lack of alternative was disappointing. Our only option was to spend the day at sea travelling to Barbados where there isn't much see or do on an evening around the port. Bridgetown is also a little seedy and intimidating on an evening, so overall we felt to have lost out. My other gripe was the disembarkation procedure. Bags had to be packed and outside your room by 11pm. This also appeared to be when the service stopped. You all of a sudden felt like an inconvenience to the crew trying to prepare the boat for the guests boarding the following day. As we were travelling straight back from Barbados to the UK for Christmas (the boat arrived in Barbados on 23rd December) we couldn't carry liquids, nor did we want to wear our cold cloths for travelling back to English climates on the morning before flying. Jeans, jumper and coat were too much for 34 degree heat. We ended up changing at the airport and repacking the bags before check in. There were no complimentary Molton Brown goodies on the last day, presumably because people just steal them, but does mean you need your wash bag. A small point I know but quite inconvenient all the same. We have defiantly caught the cruising bug and are looking at several already. Once you factor in the inclusive tipping, drinks and suite Seabourn isn't that much more expensive than other cruise liners, and I can't see how they are beaten. We are however looking at trying their larger ships just for a comparison. I will report back when done. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This was our first time on Seabourn and we were a little hesitant mainly because we enjoy casual cruising and knew that Seabourn had formal nights. But we like Transatlantic crossings, small ships and the dates worked for us so we decided ... Read More
This was our first time on Seabourn and we were a little hesitant mainly because we enjoy casual cruising and knew that Seabourn had formal nights. But we like Transatlantic crossings, small ships and the dates worked for us so we decided to give Seabourn a try and are so glad we did. We used Seabourn air program that included transfers. Our flight arrived in Lisbon at 8:30am and boarding was not until afternoon. Seabourn provided a private limo that took us from the airport to the Four Seasons hotel in Lisbon to spend the morning and a voucher that covered a wonderful lunch at the hotel, then a private limo that took us to the ship. We really felt like VIPs! The Spirit has 104 suites. There were around 150 people on this Trans-Atlantic crossing. Our suite really was just a large room but it did include a sofa, coffee table and 2 easy chairs with curtains that could be pulled between the sitting and sleeping area. There was a large window with an unobstructed view. The nice sized bathroom included a full size bathtub and there was a walk in closet. It was all very well arranged and comfortable. There were one or 2 lectures daily, trivia that was very popular and music in the afternoon, before dinner and after dinner. The shows were surprisingly good considering the size of the ship and included magic, comedy, singing, instrumental and show tunes. Everything was nice on the Spirit but if I had to choose one thing that was the best it would be service. It was stellar, every department and every crew member we met was outstanding. At the end of the hall on level 4 there is a self service laundry we used a couple of times. The washer & dryers were small, hard to get because they were so heavily used by guests and somewhat difficult to figure out. But we were glad there were available at all. The only port we visited was Funchal, Madeira which is a delightful place. We walked around the town area in the morning and did the famous toboggan ride down the mountain that afternoon. There is a main dining room and the Veranda restaurant which becomes "2" in the evening. "2" requires reservations; the main dining room has open seating. We joined several hosted dinners we were invited to and immensely enjoyed each of them. There is also an outdoor eating area that served lunch. The most unusual thing on the ship is the pool. There are 2 hot tubs next to the deck chair area. Aft of the stairs and elevator and stairs and tucked between them and the Veranda restaurant is the small pool. There is no seating around the pool. It is very strange. Disembarkation was a breeze. We were getting on another ship at the cruise ship pier in St Maarten and opted to do walk off with our luggage and had no problems at all. The formal nights that had us concerned really weren't that big of a deal. My husband wore a dark suit and tie on the formal nights, I wore a nice dress. We had a wonderful cruise and look forward sailing with Seabourn again. I highly recommend Seabourn Spirit for people that like small ships. And if you want to know what it feels like to be a VIP, try Seabourn. They know how to make people feel special! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
As first time cruisers my wife and I had many reservations about this type of holiday. We knew we would be highly intolerant of crowds and/or line-ups, we are used to "fine dining" and doubted it would be possible on a large ship with ... Read More
As first time cruisers my wife and I had many reservations about this type of holiday. We knew we would be highly intolerant of crowds and/or line-ups, we are used to "fine dining" and doubted it would be possible on a large ship with thousands of passengers. We are child-free and like it that way, tolerating children would be another issue, particularly at dinner or in other shipboard confined spaces. After much research we came across Seabourn, it appeared overpriced but it did seem to offer relative freedom from the concerns we had about larger cruise ships. A few quick calculations convinced me that the Seabourn premium shrinks dramatically when you compare suite type/size and the "all inclusive" prices. The only new concern for us moderate income earners was the possibility of having to endure the presence of lots of arrogant, boastful passengers displaying an exaggerated sense of their own importance. This fear was dispelled within hours of boarding. Yes there were plenty of "high net worth" types on board but the overwhelming majority were warm, friendly and not the least bit pretentious. A very small number of self-conscious, name-dropping phonies were there but they were easy to identify and equally easy to avoid. Overall the atmosphere was how I imagine it to be for guests on a large private yacht where you have the opportunity to meet some wonderful new friends and acquaintances - which we did. Virtually every aspect of the cruise met or exceeded our expectations and after all of our pre-cruise research into Seabourn those expectations were high. The food was consistently good or excellent, usually the latter. The suite was spacious, comfortable and in very good condition. The service was of a very high standard and the on board entertainment was (to our surprise) very good.Although we had no previous cruising experience to measure Seabourn against, we were able to seek comparisons from numerous seasoned cruisers, some of whom spend several months a year cruising. Most had been on many different cruise lines and every single one said Seabourn has consistently exceeded the experiences they had on other lines. If you want a child-free cruise in surroundings of understated elegance, enhanced by the presence of very attentive and professional (but not stuffy) staff, Seabourn probably has a cruise for you. By day four of our ten day cruise we had committed to our next voyage with them and happily put down a fully refundable "book on board" deposit in order to secure a 5% discount on that next trip. We can hardly wait to get back aboard and, coming from a pair of previously skeptical cruise customers, that is high praise indeed! Read Less
Seabourn Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 3.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 4.1
Service 5.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 5.0 3.6

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